What an absolute waste of a neat concept. This is a musical, which fits rather nicely with the dark, supernatural setting. Unfortunately, the actual story is the worst kind of harem schlock, with a vapid, uninteresting main character and potential suitors that range from vaguely unlikable to horribly creepy. None of them even appear to be interested in Ritsuka, said main character, but only follow her because she may or may not possess some important knowledge involving a magic book.
The plot goes absolutely nowhere, with each episode involving somebody trying to woo Ritsuka and her blindly falling into whatever trap they set, even after multiple
characters blatantly tell her she's dealing with devils and vampires. She complains about being left in the dark by the people trying to care for her, but she shows no indication whatsoever of using that knowledge at all. It's hard to side with her when everyone else clearly does know better.
The songs aren't particularly memorable or well-written either. They feature no memorable melodies and all have the same generic faux-symphonic metal arrangement that anyone who's watched a lot of anime in the last few years can probably fart out without even putting any thought into it. To make matters worse, the lyrics add absolutely nothing to the story. In a proper musical, these would delve deeper into the characters' emotions and internal struggles, but in Dance with Devils, they only regurgitate what you've already learned in the least poetic way possible.
Dance with Devils caught me by surprise. I typically prefer stories with characters being the main focus of the show, how they develop and how they deal with the problems presented to them. Although, I've always had a soft spot for reverse harems ever since I watched Amnesia. As I picked up this show, I expected it to be just like any other reverse harem where 4 or 5 men fall in love with the same girl who so happen to all know each other. Dance with Devils isn't as simple as that. There is a reason why everyone is 'after her' and there is
a plot that is more important than the reverse harem itself. EXPLANATIONS.
Our heroine Ritsuka is just an average girl who gets caught up in this 'war' between Devils and Vampires. Both claim that she knows where the forbidden grimoire is, but she claims to know nothing about this. She has a tendency to be more curious than she needs to be, often getting herself in trouble. It does help advance the plot as we learn more about the characters.
One of the male leads is Ritsuka's brother Lindo, he is your typical big brother type who is willing to do anything to protect his sister. He even went as far as becoming an exorcist to protect her.
The other 4 male leads are part of the student council and make up the reverse harem by attempting to capture ritsuka, woo her, and give her (and us) information we need.
The plot is rather simple, there are Devils and there are Vampires, as well as the Exorcist agency that tries to monitor both. The Devils and Vampires are after our Heroine who they claim knows where the location of the forbidden grimoire, a book to control the world, is. At first we don't understand why she is being chased after by these people, but like any decent show it fills us in on the information bit by bit. The reverse harem tendencies are thrown in occasionally but they all help advance the plot somehow.
I really liked watching the show, it wasn't as painful to watch as some shows this season *cough* garo *cough*. It keeps the reverse harem appeal that I personally like, but also gives a good plot and story that progresses and FINISHES at the end of the last episode.
Great show, if you ever feel like you should watch a reverse harem anime, one that you will not regret when you finish. This is the anime for you, keeping reverse harem elements but not completely ruining the show for you by forcing those elements 24/7. I think everybody should give the show a shot, but do not watch the show if you think you will dislike it from the beginning. That is almost guaranteed to make you dislike a show.
The reverse harem genre is not one I particularly dislike. When decently executed and well developed, we have a show that can leap bounds with its potential. I had this same hope with the harem genre. Big surprise, I lost my mind after the hundred thousand and eleventh panty shot and gave up on it entirely. But by then, I still had high hopes that the reverse harem genre could possibly be a more fruitful experience than actual harems. I hadn't seen many shows in the genre but from the good things I've heard, I stood firm on my ground, ready to explore!
That was until
I saw Dance with Devils.
== Story (3/10) ==
Dance with Devils is a series that uses unique concepts, an obscure structure (musical) and an above average production value to create, by far, one of the worst written series I've seen this season. Now those are pretty big words considering the amount of praise the show gets so allow me to make a few points without going into spoiler territory. So there's this Grimoire that supposedly has the power to control the world and that vampires and devils are in some big fight. Our main character, Ritsuka, who appears to have some connection to all of this, is thrown in the middle of it. Her brother, an exorcist, must now protect her from the evils and teach her about the whole thing while keeping his own secrets. Now, I don't know about you, but this just screams Star Wars. However, unlike George Lucas' magnum opus, Ritsuka does not side with her brother and train to defeat the bowels of vampire and demon scum continuously attacking her, but instead? REVERSE HAREM. WITH HELLSPAWN. Yeah, try to wrap your mind around that. But unlike most reverse harem I've seen, instead of a girl surrounded by horny well-groomed gentlemen, she's surrounded by horny, self-indulgent not-so-gentlemen. In short, it's a fetish series. Fine, you can say the same thing about GochiUsa or K-On but at least there was substance. At least there was meaning to their activities and relationships. Dance with Devils? It does nothing but take these bishounen figures whose priority lists consist of ways to seduce the main character. Of course, there is some romance to keep the critics happy but it's rushed to the extent of being fake. You can make it 'look' as romantic as possible but the lack of chemistry and meaningful dialogue other than "Remu", "Okasan" and "Grimowaru" make it, unfortunately, unbelievable. And no, "You'll be mine", "Chow-Chow", "Woof Woof", "Ritshukah" and disturbing groans and moans aren't romantic either. The element is almost if not completely non-existent. As for the story, though it started off, well, just fine, everything else was just pure bullshit. Aside from the usual bishie per episode formula, the story is full of plotholes, conveniences and, finally, deus ex machina. The lore is barely explored, the villain's motivations are not so much as glanced, the overall scale of the war is never measured or explored and, finally, the grimoire; the single most important thing in the series is never given an origin, an explanation, a thorough discussion other than what it does and its name, just about everything. Maybe I'm being nitpicky but, in all seriousness, the entire focus on this one powerful item makes it more interesting than any of the characters.
== Character (2/10) ==
And speaking of characters, the comparison doesn't say too much. Though I can simply say they're all terrible, let me go into further detail. Let's start with Ritsuka. Though she's praised to be 'different' than your Mary Sue, she's, really, no different from your Young Adult female lead stereotype. Only this time, retarded. Though she shows strong resolve, an independent will and the potential to actually be the next Luke Skywalker, she's retarded. How retarded? Let's set an example, shall we? We're set in a point in the story where Ritsuka's been tricked enough times to convince her that TRUSTING DEMONS, VAMPIRES OR THE LIKE IS DANGEROUS (She should have caught on the first time), TO LISTEN TO HER *EXORCIST* BROTHER AND THAT HER SCHOOL IS PRETTY MUCH DEMON HEADQUARTERS. One day, a creepy,tall, dark haired man with this tormenting look and aura is ripping flowers apart, openly admits he is a devil (-ish) and persuades her to come with him to some special place, the same exact way she's been tricked by everyone else. What does she do? SHE LISTENS TO HIM. HIM! THIS DUDE THAT CAN PASS OFF AS A ZOMBIE IN THE WALKING DEAD. Now, I get it, maybe she's overly trusting and it's a part of her personality, right? And that he may have actual details to what she's looking for, right? Yeah, keep that in mind the next time you interact with Hellspawn. As for everyone else? Again, this is a fetish series. Characters other than Emo Liar and Saint Onii-san (They're literally what I just called them), we have "Brad from the Football Team", "Man-Dog", "Masochist Zombie" and my personal favorite, "Chow-Chow". These four exist to trigger some sort of desire from the viewer and I see them as nothing more. Argue all you like about meaningful character and development but all I see are a bunch of Misexcuse of a male cast with hobbies that range from verbal seduction, singing, stalking and kidnapping. Dog man is slightly decent but not one I'd say that stands out from the rest of the stalkers. Like I said, the villains are pretty damp and lame with no other worthy motivation other than serving their leader or "GRIMOWARU" "GRIMOWARU". Heck, not even the Church faction gets a prolonging role in this series seeing as how they're the ETERNAL ENEMIES OF HELLSPAWN. But who cares? REVERSE HAREMS FTW.
== Sound (5/10) ==
Now if there's anything remotely good about this, it's probably the music. Since this is a musical, there are surely a lot of songs. Well guess what? There's one every episode! Though some of them are great, particularly the first and last songs that did add a bit of an impact, others were typical and boring pop-bishie seduction songs that I don't even want to recall. The overall soundtrack is a snore but the voice acting was pretty top notch, if to bring the character to life was the goal. The OP song was... okay. Not something I'd listen to again as it has this very ominous tone that tries to clash with modern day rhythm that completely misses it. As for the ED, I can't say much about it as I always skipped it. If about five bishies singing is your thing, I'm pretty sure you'll like it.
== Art and Animation (6/10) ==
As usual, Anime Studio Brains Base, known for work like SNAFU and Durarara, far excels at creating above average art and animation. Though most of the design is silly, it has a sort of flare to it. The animation is smooth, the expressions feel natural and nothing felt wrong with it. Smooth and crisp as can be.
== Enjoyment and Overall (3/10) ==
As much as the technical was good, this was, honestly, a chore to watch. I had to push it several hours out just so I don't have to watch it and when I do, it's always so slow. If you like reverse harems and think highly of the genre, this could be an unbearable experience for you.
Dance with Devils is a great example of a "reverse harem" done right. I will admit that going into Dance with Devils it doesn't appear to be much different than the average, but this was easily the biggest surprise of the season! No it's not perfect by any means, but if you're looking for something unique in the genre, then you've come to the right place!
The story follows a girl named Ritsuka and her run in with the members of her school's student council, who aren't exactly who they seem to be on the surface... Ok let's be honest given the name and synopsis
it's already obvious they're all devils/demons of some sort, and something special about Ritsuka draws them all to her. One of the elements of Dance with Devil's story that's very refreshing is the surprising lack of forced romance in the first part of the story. A fault many seem to have with reverse harems like this is the main female's sudden and undeveloped affections for the love interests, but Ritsuka shows little to no romantic interest in anyone for majority of the show. That said eventually romantic development with the "winning man" (and yes, she does pick someone at the end) does occur before the finale, albeit a wee bit more development between them would've been very welcome.
The story outside of the romantic elements is also quite well done. Since there wasn't tons of wasted time throwing senseless romance from the MC in our face, the show had a bit more time to focus on the other story elements. A few pieces of the puzzle seem to be missing by the end, but nothing major that takes away from the experience too much or creates massive glaring plot holes. It isn't the most original story ever conceived, but not dreadfully generic either.
This would definitely be the weakest factor of the show. Nothing really stands out as amazing when it comes to the art and animation. There's nothing jarring about it either, and it does it's job as well as it needs to. What keeps me from giving this category a 5/10 however is the animation during the musical sequences. Speaking of which...
If you were not aware, yes Dance with Devils is a musical. Each episode has at least one character song that lasts about 2-3 minutes long, and I must say they are some of the best parts of every episode! It's apparent that a lot of effort went into each song, as each one has a different and unique sound from the last, ranging from sad and somber to fast and full of adrenaline. These moments are generally used to express to the viewer how certain characters are feeling or their motivations, just like that of a traditional musical or rock opera. And don't worry, all the effort that went into the music was not spent on just these moments. The score of the show is just as strong, with a variety of music with all sorts of tones and styles. By far one of the best soundtracks for an anime I've ever experienced!
Another complaint often directed at reverse harems is that the main girl tends to lack in character depth, and is far too much of a blank slate and a push over for the love interests to have their way with. Well I'm happy to tell you this is another problem Dance with Devils does not suffer from. Ritsuka has a refreshing amount of character depth to her, and the reasoning for her actions and emotions make sense. There are a few moments sprinkled in that may seem a little questionable, but as her character develops they do end up all making sense... mostly.
As for all the love interests, while two stand out much more than the others, they all have their own unique characteristics from one another that keeps them from being carbon copies of one another. Each have their own somewhat trope-ish feel, but not to the point that they're completely uninteresting. Unfortunately like many reverse harems, as well as regular harems for that matter, Dance with Devils does suffer from under-developing some of it's characters simply due to not having enough time to give everyone a fair share of the spotlight.
While Dance with Devils undoubtedly has it's weaknesses, it's strengths make this an extremely enjoyable anime! The story and characters keep you invested in what's going on, the music does well to add the right amount of emotions and suspense to the scenes it needs to, and getting to the character songs in every episode is a major highlight to the overall experience. If you're a fan of reverse harems already, or maybe a bit skeptical about the genre and want a strong entry into the genre, Dance with Devils is exactly what you're looking for.
I really love this anime, since I'm someone who likes musicals, reverse harems, and... hot anime guys.
An ordinary girl's life changed when she found out that this mysterious "grimoire" resided in her. Her mom was kidnapped by a vampire. These demons offer help to find her mom, but basically harasses her for 7 episodes. But, all in all, it's pretty decent.
Art & Character: 10
Beautiful. The characters are basically a work of art. Even now, I still find it difficult to choose JUST one guy. The character designs suit the personalities of the characters very well. They are all unique and very distinct. The character
development is nothing short of splendid-- it made me change opinions of one character (and it made me squeal in my seat, so yeah-- it moved me that it made me react strongly).
As a person who adores musicals, this rare anime would be put in my collection. The songs are pretty catchy, and the transitions from the dialogue to the singing were not awkward. Every song and OP/ED was perfect. The Japanese voice actors did an amazing job. Their voices were breathtaking.
Enjoyment & Overall: 10
To be honest the only reason I watched this anime was because of Hirakawa Daisuke (Shiki's voice actor). I didn't expect much from it; I thought it was going to be similar to Diabolik Lovers. It didn't disappoint me.
(This review has been adapted from my blog/reddit thread. Spoilers ahead!)
Dance with Devils describes itself pretty well. There are devils and there is dancing. Less dancing than devils but still.
I cannot speak much about devils. (I have already talked at length about the Divine Comedy.) As for dancing, I also cannot speak much. There is one detail about dancing, however, that will always stick with me: my father’s “signature move.”
He told me that, if you cannot dance, or if you want to but want to avoid embarrassment, you simply do the “cabbage patch.” It is rather simple, really. Make fists out of your hands. Put
them together – still as fists – as if you are creating one giant fist. Finally, bob your shoulders and gyrate your fists. There. You are doing the cabbage patch.
The question becomes, which is better, Devils or the cabbage patch?
My money is on my father’s advice.
Devils is what the anime industry calls a reverse harem. In simple terms, one woman is chased after by multiple men – the harem-ers and the harem-ees reverse genders. The concept closely mirrors the usual harem type despite this simple role reversal.
For example, the first seven episodes are individually dedicated to a specific character. Rem demonstrates his strengths at Ritsuka’s grandfather’s home in his episode. Shiki gets an episode to display just how creepy he happens to be. And Roen gets an episode, too, to show off his acolyte status.
But the events therein do not happen normally; this anime is not called Dance with Devils for nothing. Rather than act, the characters act. They sing and they dance and they fight, providing the audience with theatrical performances. Do these performances serve a purpose? Well, yes and no. They do add a bit of uniqueness and emotion to the situations, making them feel more like plays that are being played out. But they do not technically serve the narrative; the events could have been played out normally without affecting the plot.
Not every performance involves just one of the members. Sometimes Ritsuka takes part in a duet with another. Sometimes members of the cast sing with each other. And the second-to-last episode has every love interest taking part in the song – a necessary development given the harem and the conflicts between the characters. It takes a while to actually get to this point, but, thankfully, Devils did.
Where the anime falls apart is in everything that surrounds the theatrics. Ritsuka laments that “all these things keep happening around me” because of the grimoire within her. Yet almost every direction the plot takes relies solely on Ritsuka’s inane decisions. She is constantly told to wait somewhere safe, to follow the orders of the people protecting her, and to generally not seek out trouble. In response, Ritsuka chooses to ignore all of these orders.
These blunders result in her repetitively requiring help. That is, the entirety of the narrative hinges on Ritsuka making the most asinine of decisions possible. One instance has her at a grocery store with Azuna. Azuna tells her to stay put, but Ritsuka opts to not listen which just-so-happens to get her caught up in more problems. Another instance is where she literally uses a crowbar on her window to escape her house after her brother reveals numerous truths about her situation.
She actively seeks out these scenarios, so they come off as forced rather than natural. To be fair, she wants to know why these events are happening. And, indeed, if she were to just sit around, the plot would be rather dull. But one would think that, after, say, the third incident, she would learn to be a little bit safer. As they say, “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.”
Devils also has the issue of not going into more detail about its world elements, namely the devils, the vampires, and the church. The anime establishes that the devils and vampires hate each other, and the church hates both of those groups. And they all have one, common goal: acquire the grimoire.
This information is about as much as the anime gives. Extra info about these sects is not vital, but, similar to the performances, it makes no difference what type of people are chasing after Ritsuka. They could have been clowns or scuba divers or those people that hold and twirl signs outside of establishments to get drivers’ attention. Regardless, nothing would have changed.
The anime also introduces an aggravating plot detail. Ritsuka is told that the grimoire within her will vanish if she just waits till after her birthday. Not only does the anime wait to reveal this highly important information to her, but also, once she does learn it, she still goes out and about, leading to the indirect death of her best friend.
All of this says nothing of the ending which has problems, too. Once the grimoire expires within Ritsuka, the smell it caused her to give off goes away as well. The loss of this aphrodisiac and the grimoire has all of the harem members but her brother leave. In essence, they were chasing after Ritsuka not for her but for the book, defeating the purpose of having the harem in the first place.
Azuna’s death lacking impact due to low presence. Rem’s father’s need to have the grimoire is forgotten about. Not delving into Ritsuka’s grandfather’s background. On top of having no real underlying theme, these problems and the others highlight the poor narrative that Devils constructed.
To reiterate, Dance with Devils is built on the idea of theatrics. So, naturally, the show takes some measures to follow this motif.
For example, curtains accompany the student council’s room, and the start of every episode has a curtain backdrop. The performances also exaggerate the realism that the anime normally steeps itself in. Glass apples, a giant birdcage, and moving stone statues are just a few of the zany ideas that the performances include.
Arguably the strongest part of the anime, though, are the character designs. Ritsuka in particular has a wonderful design. Her red, frilly school outfit is striking as is her beautiful, blue wedding dress. But it is her short hair, simplistic face, and amber eyes that lets her exude a natural cuteness that is oddly captivating. An important, relevant, and welcome trait for the harem lead.
The men of the harem are not without their own nice designs. Some are tall with striking eyes and defined chins. Some are shorter and cuter in depiction. And some even have color symbolism – Lindo is red for love, Shiki is purple for mystery, Roen is light blue for quietude.
On a more detailed level, they still hold up. Mage’s casual attire and ponytail reflect his cool-guy disposition. Rem’s dark-blue jacket with popped collar, extra, pompous accessories, and short hair paint him as the leader he is. And Urie’s all-white outfit with braided hair and gray belt turn him into the foreign lover he aims to be.
Actual animation within Devils depends largely on whether a performance is happening or not. While very little dancing actually occurs (despite “dance” being in the title), the performances themselves usually involve flickering flames, driving cars, and exploding exorcism symbols. Outside of the performances, Devils does not include nuanced movement besides running and the occasional hair ruffling.
Fight sequences – there are a few – are likewise lacking. Characters are often placed on top of fast-moving backgrounds and sandwiched between quick cuts that reduce the overall tension and urgency of the fights.
As for the art, it tends to be quite tame – standard details and cinematography. But it does pick up the slack in a strange way. Normally, everything is quite cheery – shots of the school, Ritsuka’s home, and so on. Lighting, while not extensive, continues the cheeriness. Then the antipodes come. Creepy carnivals, scary shadows, and dark dusks match the devilish motif. Having this dichotomy between cheeriness and darkness accentuates both, improving Devil’s overall appeal.
Devils’s cast has a lot of problems mostly due to the structure of the anime.
Each man in the harem represents a different type. The leader, the womanizer, the cool dude, the masochist, the innocent, and the white knight – Rem, Urie, Mage, Shiki, Roen, and Lindo respectively. And for everyone but Rem and Lindo, these traits are as much as the anime gives. Their personalized episodes more or less introduce them, and, afterwards, they receive little to no attention. They are around. They do make quips. But none of the them have any impact whatsoever.
To be fair to the anime, the cast is a large harem. Meaning, it may be unrealistic to expect them all to be adequately looked at. Still, they are barely involved in the proceedings. Combined with the lack of a common theme between them (besides sniffing Ritsuka) and the rest of the cast, they come off as unnecessary inclusions.
Ritsuka does not perform much better. Early on, Ritsuka (literally) sings about how she is just “a normal high-school girl.” But, due to being pigeonholed as a damsel in distress, Ritsuka almost never seeks to improve herself. Instead, everyone else – i.e., the harem members – tries to do that for her. She is frustratingly passive, using lots of “No!” and “Nii-san!” and “Let me go!” to talk her way out of most situations. A consistent yet silly trait.
Episode six showcases the first time Devils explores her character. When confronting Rem, she says, “I’m a person, with a heart.” Her statement opposes Rem’s words in episode five where Rem called her a “pawn.” This idea is important for her character: determining what type of person she is. Is she someone who is meant to be used for the sake of others? Is she a devil, the very people attempting to use her? Is she a human who can make her own choices?
The answer to the first question is yes. As a dolt, she hands herself over to the enemy to be used for their ritualistic purposes. Her decision, but she is nonetheless being used. The answer to the second question is yes. Ritsuka learns, during a rather convenient information dump, that she is the daughter of Maksis, the devil king.
The most important answer is the last one which is once more yes. She declares, “I’m going to choose my own destiny,” defeating the vampire king (again, rather conveniently) with the power of the grimoire within her. And the final performance has her choosing the path of the human with herself over the path of the devil with Rem, ending her romantic relationship with Rem before it even really began.
This last development comes way too late – within the last eleven minutes of the season. And it even contradicts somewhat her first performance: “Yes, that there’s someone smiling and waiting for me,” implying that she wants to be with a “prince.” Altogether, her character had some potential, but she is ultimately mishandled.
Moving to Rem, his biggest issue is the transition between not falling for Ritsuka and falling for Ritsuka. In the beginning, it was difficult to tell how he felt about her, but, according to Ritsuka and his actions, he seemed to feel something for the human girl. In the middle, he pushes her away. That is, until the duet with her at the ball held at the school. And in the end, following the motivational performance from the other devils and the rescuing of Ritsuka, he confesses his love for her.
This process appears quite natural. He is conflicted, he tries to stifle his feelings, and he ultimately embraces them. Rem even goes so far as to protect Ritsuka on occasion, such as when Lindo goes berserk or when he lies to the other devils to send them away. But these actions rarely involve direct interaction with Ritsuka. Besides the trip together in the beginning, the duet in the middle, and the confession at the end, he has a distinct lack of personal time with the girl he supposedly loves. The result is a change in character and a formed relationship that similarly lack depth, leaving Rem to fiddle with his shogi pieces.
This leaves Lindo. Lindo is arguably the most interesting. He was gone in the beginning of the season, training as an exorcist elsewhere. When he comes back, he profusely dedicates himself to Ritsuka. Protecting his sister is all he cares about. He does a poor job of it – not telling her vital information, failing to be there earlier – but he sticks to his word.
Later on, Lindo’s backstory gets explained. He is actually not Ritsuka’s biological brother; he is her cousin. As the son of Ritsuka’s aunt and the vampire king, he is a half-human, half-vampire creature: a so-called “dhampir.” This detail explains his extra, anger-driven powers.
Lindo, like most of the other characters, has no development to speak of. A predicament with his father occurs, but, since a conflict or even a relationship between them never existed before (and that the solution to breaking the hypnosis of the strongest vampire ever is to just break out of it without explanation), the predicament fails to be relevant.
In the end, Lindo appears to back off from his love for her, conceding due to her confession towards Rem. Since he is not a devil, he remains by her side (with Ritsuka’s mother) to continue protecting her. So while he is technically the most interesting of the bunch, his inclusion as a harem member makes little sense since he stops pursuing her romantically.
And since Lindo was the last hope for the cast, and even though he stays behind, no hope for them is left.
Arguably the highlight of the music are the insert songs sung by each character. These songs are tailored to the cast, varying in composition and type. For example, Urie is all about love, or “amor,” so his track is more Spanish-sounding. Mage’s, since he is just oh-so-cool, has more of a rap style.
To reiterate, each character has their own song, and the anime even includes songs sung by multiple members of the cast. The final song, sung by Ritsuka, Rem, and (partly) Lindo, comes out on top if only because the emotion and the build-up – what Devils had been missing the whole time – is finally present.
Many of the other songs in the original soundtrack are not as unique as the character songs, but this detail is to be expected. At the minimum, somber woodwind instruments, violins, and pianos work together to create tracks that keep the mood low. Everyday tracks, spooky tracks, and commanding tracks fill out the other moments. The OST is nothing special, but it gets the job done.
The opening – not the opening track – to every episode deserves a small shout-out. A loud, buzzing horn can be heard, signifying the start of whatever “play” is about to unfold. The horn was not required, but having it around added another layer to the theatre motif.
The opening track – not the opening – opens nicely with the foreboding choir. The guitar, the quick beat, and the fervent feeling that follow are not as powerful. And they do not even really match the gloomier mood of Devils. But the OP still manages to be a nice lead-in to the show. The only weird part is that Lindo is the most prominent singer rather than sharing the track with everyone.
The ending track – not the opening or the opening track – fixes this dilemma. Each harem member arrives, singing individually and with others to make the track a joint effort. While the beat is a bit too generic, the creepy yet fun vibe it creates and the catchy “Soon (soon)” and “Mademoiselle! Mademoiselle!” make the track more fun to listen to than one may believe.
And the voice acting performances – not the opening, not the opening track, and not the ending track – are generally above average. Everyone does well during their normal speaking parts, and they do even better for their song sections. The men provide voices for each of the characters that complement their personalities, but it is Himika Akaneya, in one of her first major roles, as Ritsuka that stands on top. Ms. Akaneya’s cute and feminine voice for Ritsuka was more than a nice fit.
Admittedly, this anime is not targeted at me whatsoever.
I am not a woman, so I cannot put myself in Ritsuka’s role. And I am not attracted to men, so I cannot admire the harem members from afar. What I can do is cheer for the romance because, wherever romance calls, I am sure to be there.
That being said, the romance in this one is disappointing to say the least. I would have liked it if Rem was the sole love interest. Ditch the harem stuff. Focus on Rem. Then we would get twelve episodes of Ritsuka and Rem slowly getting to know each other better.
Not to say that they did not have their moments. The duet at the dance was quite nice, and Ritsuka falling into Rem’s arms when he made it out of her grandfather’s burning house was touching. I just wish there were more of those moments.
My favorite scene, though, does not even involve romance. During Mage’s episode – at the very beginning – he storms into the classroom, literally forces Ritsuka over his shoulder, and then jumps out the window. The disc-jockey is doing his thing in the background, but it is Mage’s nonchalant “Shaddup” that seals the deal. (If it is not obvious, this scene was hysterical and not cool. Still my favorite scene because I can only hope to ever be as suave as him.)
Also, the ED dancers. Those shadow puppets did more dancing than everyone in the cast. And their synchronization was on point.
What I was not a big fan of were the fights and Shiki. The fights were boring to watch. And Shiki was way too much of a creeper for my liking. Ritsuka’s cuteness made up for some of these more personal problems I had with the anime – especially her as a toddler. But her cuteness could only go so far.
Dance with Devils did what it could, and, even then, it fell short. The music and the visuals have their positives, but the negatives of the story and especially the negatives of the characters outweigh those positives handily enough. Now, it is time to dance the cabbage patch in this one’s honor.
Story: Bad, the performances spice up the narrative, but the inane plot, the ending that retroactively hurts the harem, and the other major problems prevent any encores
Animation: Fine, varied performance visuals, nice character designs, below average actual animation, and okay art with a dichotomous style
Characters: Terrible, most of the harem members serve no purpose, and Ritsuka, Rem, and Lindo are not without their own set of problems
Sound: Fine, nice character songs, okay OST, okay OP, okay ED, and above average VA performances
Enjoyment: Bad, not enough romance, but at least it had a “Shaddup,” synchronized shadow dudes, and Ritsuka being cute thrown in
That is enough to express myself, right? You guys don’t need any more clarification, right? Right?!…
….No? You do?
Well…FINE! Let me put on my reviewer-glasses and give this a try.
Story - 3
I’ll be serious and straightforward here; I can’t generally really find anything redeemable in Dance with Devils, at least when it comes to the plot, mostly because it tends to suffer from the same problems that Diabolik Lovers had. And by that I do not mean the guys treating the heroine like a Masochistic-Blood-Pack-On-Two-Legs, not entirely at least, but it’s all the plot points put together that just
makes me ponder why did I just watch 12 episodes of this. I felt like most of the story tried to insult my intelligence ; it is quite a simple story generally, but the execution of it is cringeworthy.
My problems start with the overall decisions of the heroine, then how little it took for everybody to fall in love with her despite her not being anything special (typical reverse harem though), the said-“protection” that Ritsuka had to have at school and the quality of that “protection” which makes me question the overall quality of the forces of “God” and how did they manage to even last this long, the vampires convenient villains being strong at convenient times, horny demons, horny vampires, horny dhampyrs and it finally ends with an unsatisfactory climax and some pink sparkles…for the most part. I at least did manage to appreciate Ritsuka’s choice in the end, must not lie.
The plus that I DO give it though is the main reason why I even considered to finish this anime over many others that I have on my list: the musical aspect of it, and I say “musical” referring to the actual theater genre of the “musical” (not UtaPri or StarMyu style).A musical is when the story gets conveyed and progressed through several songs at climatic times, either to express the resolutions of the characters and their inner feelings as well as a good chunk of the action. Dance with Devils actually managed to do quite well at that part and even if sometimes it was quite cringing and cheesy, I really did appreciate the “theatrical” take on it, where the characters genuinely seemed to want to act like “actors” and not “anime characters”.
Characters - 4
Now, the part where Dance with Devils actually does a pretty good job at compared to Diabolik Lovers (and only in this context), are actually the character relationships (some of them). They have a lot more thought put into them, overall. I think the relationship between Lindo and Ritsuka was particularly well-made (I put the emphasis on “compared with DiaLovers“; normally, a good relationship base would be the least that I could expect in a fiction, so I’m already bringing my bar down a lot). Lindo was really one of the best thought-out characters in the whole anime. He had a defined backstory, an actual cute day-by-day interaction with Ritsuka, an actual purpose to which he strove for from day 1 to the end, an actual REASON to fall in love with Ritsuka to begin with and lastly, he came to terms with his own nature. I feel that he comes closer to a “character” that I can actually feel empathy for and actually being able to cheer for.
The others? …Not so much. Rem started off interesting only to fall in the usual “main guy trope”; he gets a crush for Ritsuka out of nowhere, makes an issue out of it for the whole show, then at the end realizes that nothing matters in front of love (…not even his Demon King daddy almost blowing his head off, but RIP Demon King-daddy and him disappearing into thin air when it was convenient for Rem to stop brooding).
Urie and Mage can just take eachother by the hand since their purpose literally resumed to “hentai flirt” and “impulsive bad guy“. These two are the main reasons why I was actually more interested in Shiki at the beginning because of his creepy-sado-masochistic-self-mutilation fetishes (which is literally a combination between Kanato and Azusa, but I’ll let that go). I was especially sad to have no type of backstory on any of these guys. Not even Rem got any and that plays a big role into my feelings for him, mostly when it was revealed Urie is Rem’s childhood friend, yet I can’t say I can point out any moment of genuine closeness between them, in any way.
But now concentrating on the positive aspects, I liked Roen and I was surprised he could actually make a very valid villain…only if he were given an actual chance, but the authors preferred to ignore him for the sake of the vampire threat…But back to positive! I also liked the teasing moments between the demon guys; they clearly seemed to dislike eachother, but in reality it’s just simply what happens when you put together a bunch of guys with too much pride to sell. They never really disliked eachother, I think, on the contrary, which was quite sweet.
And I have realized that I did not speak of Ritsuka yet. Well, she’s not the worst reverse harem heroine that I have ever seen despite what others tend to say. She tends to be “louder” than most, though her naivety and tendency to have stuff spelled out for her annoyed me quite a bit at one point which lead her to get kidnapped a lot.
Animation&OST - 6
If I had anything to complain about, regarding the musical aspect, it would be for the “cheap” animation choices during some of the songs, which almost seemed flashy for the sake of covering the overall lack of diversity and inspiration (or maybe laziness or lack of budget, I don’t know. I want to believe it’s the later).
Then, I would also like to point to one moment of brilliance which was the final fight with Jek. Despite not being able to care any less for Jek in the first place and despite the actual fight being quite short, it’s the only moment that I can think of right now where I praised the angles and the actual “fall” moment, which actually did give me quite a bit of shock because I did not expect for it to go that way.
Lastly, about the OST, most songs are cringe-worthily cheesy, but I did appreciate the vocals, mostly Hirakawa Daisuke, Saito Soma and Hatano Wataru. I do see myself in the future humming one of the Dance with Devils songs, like I do with the Diabolik Lovers ones.
Conclusion - 4
I think they could have done way better.
And I’ll ask myself again: Why do I even trust Rejet anymore? I think it’s important for the review to actually summarize why I keep coming back to Rejet whatever they end up making. It’s their guts. Yes. It makes me feel like they have realized that if they dive into the “controversial” and specifically into otome “fetishes”, then whatever they make, whatever the reaction, it’s always a strong one, which can only bring them profit. There will be those that love it and hype it. And there will be those that hate it and try to do everything to discredit it, which will attract other haters and more discussions will be made. This is how Diabolik Lovers still didn’t manage to just “die out” up to today and it will probably get a third season and who knows how many other otome game extras and merchandise. Dance with Devils probably won’t have the same effect for its more “innocent” nature, but I think that it’ll still be remembered, seeing how it’s getting a real live musical and a PSVita otome game already (and Singles were already teased from before the anime was even released and there’s an actual manga for it in the publishing). Rejet are smart when it comes to promoting, I give them that as well.
Also, I have the suspicion that Dance with Devils is going to get a second season based on the last scene with Roen and Maksis. So what I have said above will probably prove itself even more true, if it’s the case.
Note: I have also written reviews for both seasons of Diabolik Lovers if you want to have a clearer image of why I'm referencing it so much in this review.
Last note: This anime contains incestuous romantical feelings. Personally, I did not have a problem with it and, on the contrary, I considered it one of the good points of it, but if you’re uncomfortable with “incest feelings”, I recommend you do not watch this anime.
Dance with Devils...where do I even begin? I'll try to keep this as short as I can.
First of all, before I even watched the series, NO WHERE in any synopsis or description did it say that this was a musical and the songs were absolutely dreadful and cringe worthy. The story, without the terrible display of reverse harem, had potential but the first half of the series focused on devoting full episodes to develop the characters of the love interests. This was executed so poorly and it was embarrassing to watch. EVERY episode about the love interests were the same structure, but
they just threw in the character and gave them a horrible song with dreadful lyrics. This amount of episodes about the characters, that were basically never focused on again, made the second half of the series sloppy, rushed and just ridiculously stupid.
The characters where just stock standard reverse harem characters that tried to be edgy but ended up being pathetic. The female lead was also an incredibly boring protagonist, so i guess one of the only things this anime got correct was that she would end up with most boring and mundane love interest of all the male leads.
These are just some of the main reasons why this anime was not worth my time. A short but not so sweet review of an absolute waste of an anime. I cannot stress enough how awful the experience of watching this anime was and every week I hoped and prayed the next episode would maybe redeem the series. It do not.
The story itself wasn't bad. It wasn't the most original either but it was tolerable. What annoyed me the most was the songs in the most ridiculous time. You could be watching the most serious, intense battle and they decide to show their feelings by songs? Really?
The art was good. Typical good looking bishies which is the only reason I watched the anime. But may be the setting could have been better.
No development in the characters. The main protagonist was the worst. The weakest protagonist I have seen so far in all the animes I have seen. In the last
episode she decides to act and it happens? like what happened in the all the other hundred times that you could have acted? The bishies too did not develop at all. First they are shown to be selfish and the next moment they are nice? The only character that deserves some credit is Rem. He was a decent character.
If not for the songs I would have given it a 6 or higher. But the songs really was annoying. Its like they don't know when to put what songs.
I am really disappointed in the series. This is the lowest score I have given to any anime so far. I was so bored in my break from school that I would watch anything and I really wanted to like it. I do like reverse harem unlike the harem. Although love triangles are my favorite. But the abrupt change in characters without any proper explanation and the songs just ruined it for me.
I can't tell how much cheated I feel.
Throughout the whole anime the main character has been nothing more than a silly that anyone could deceive, and she was like nothing matters really.
Also, Lindo diserved so much more at the end. To me, he was the best character. I can't say much more, but except Lindo, the music parts (I laughed a lot in these parts, and enjoy them) and the art... This is not much worth your time. AT ALL.
I recon that it has its moments, but I think there are better animes out there. And romances. I am still wondering why Rem
fell in love with the main character. Like I told you, she was a fool all the time, but at some point I didn't know if she was really SO silly, or was looking for been kidnapped most of the time. My eyes could've been rolled forever if I kept rolling them.
[SPOILER FREE REVIEW FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO READ BEFORE WATCHING]
Just when I thought that I couldn't find another reverse harem that I liked, a recommendation popped up on my YouTube account. "Dance with Devils episode 1". I had heard things about this show being bad so I was hesitant when clicking it. After watching the first episode I needed to continue watching more because all I could think was "Whats going to happen next?". As you can tell by my 10/10 rating, this show was AMAZING in my opinion. However, this anime has just a little higher rating than my favorite reverse harem, Amnesia.
I think I have a bad habit of enjoying unpopular shows. Whatever others think, I am going to do the same thing I did when I wrote my review for Amnesia.
Lets talk about the 10/10 story. This was probably my favorite thing about the show. I LOVE romances with an element of mystery in them. Dance with Devils went above and beyond with their plot. Just when I thought I knew everything they threw something else at me. I was at the edge of my seat during the entire show and I don't think I can express in text how great this story was. The weird thing for me was how I felt near the end of the last episode. I didn't feel like I was in a "show hole" because they set it up for another season in the future. After looking up if there was going to be another I found out the US release date is sometime in 2017! *major anticipation*
I can't really say a lot about the art being as it wasn't different or unique. What was unique was the music (which there was a lot of). It took me until the 2nd episode to realise that this was a musical because for the second time they broke out in song for no reason. I am not a fan of musicals at all, but I was able to skip through some of the songs and look past it. Notice I said "some of the songs" because I didn't skip them all. There were a couple that I stopped to listen to since I really liked the tune. That is something I didn't see myself doing. At the end of the day I gave this section a 9/10 since they had a variety of genres for music. I admire that they did that. It almost seems gutsy because I can see the haters flying in like geese.
Building characters was this shows weakest point in my opion. They did have a lot of backstory but there were 4 guys who I thought had the same personality. I like shows that branch out with different people gathering in the same place and being friends. Thats probably why I liked Amnesia and Host Club so much. This show was missing that aspect but (again I have to say) I didn't care because I was so focused on that plot.
Obviously enjoyment is 10/10. I think if the show ended right then and there I would have given it a 9 instead. Infact for 5 minutes I figured "Well thats it. There that series goes. Time to cry". I DEFINITELY recommend this to people who like romance/mystery shows. Now shout out to Brain Base for (yet again) giving me another reverse harem to add the my list of 10/10s. I still don't understand why this or Amnesia doesn't have a higher rating. I could sit for hours and talk about why they are so much better than some more popular shows. Instead I will just write extremely long reviews and then hide inside my fandoms. Now I'm going to shut up so you can start watching this amazing show!
This is pretty enjoyable, I won't lie there. The story follows a pretty clichèd display of Devils vs Vampires but who ever gets sick of that!? Am I right!??
At first, the singing caught me off guard, I'll admit, but then i got a good giggle out it and by the end I was tapping my foot when they sang. In saying that, I couldn't take this anime seriously whenever they sang lol. I still however, wanted to know what would happen, predicable as it was, and just how they would develop the ending and triumph over onii-sans daddy complex.
I am impressed that, while overflowing
the screen with good looking boys, they managed to tame the shoujo feels and cut the sappy confessions. The development of characters wasn't too strong but I feel like they got across what they needed for what it was. Too serious and I would have thrown my screen every time they sang. Not serious enough and I would have rated this a 1 and said "Lol" as my review, then moved on with life.
I believe they spent a tad too much time chasing Ritsukas Mom. Having her captured and sent to a pretty luxurious bed where she slept for 10 episodes, gave the impression she was a plot twist in the story but lol no.
It's fun and chilled out and I enjoyed it for what it was - A mystical musical about Vampires and Devils who sing to introduce themselves and before they jump into a fight. Give it a go if you can.
The whole time, I was laughing so hard at how random and ridiculous it was. Imma be blunt right off the bat, it was not a good anime, but I had a lot of fun watching it with my friend because we made fun of it the whole time.
It starts off pretty normal and then all of a sudden the main girl starts singing on her way to school and I'm like "Lol, wut." Then she gets called to the 3rd library (2spooky4me) where all the hawt student council demon guys are lurking about in their free time
or whatever. Then they start singing about how they are gonna be all #creeperstatus towards her. And then like the typical, reverse harem, air-head female lead she is she doesn't understand "Hmm...I should probably not be here or get involved with these creepers."
If you like Diabolic Lovers then you will also like Dance with Devils since it's basically the same thing. Only there's demons and vampires and if that's not enough, its a musical too.
I like the idea of a musical anime. Hopefully someone in the future will execute it better.
This anime had some really good things going for it. Overall i found it very enjoyable, excluding the weirdly out of place songs that were thrown into the anime. The story was definitely nothing special, seen it a few times now. But surprisingly it was well enough done that I wanted, and did, keep watching. This was kind of like a not quite as good version of vampire night. The art was decent along with the music. I honestly don't have a good explanation why i found this anime as enjoyable as i did, but thats it, it was simply entertaining to watch. The biggest
thing that bothered me was the sporadic attempts it made to be a musical. At times it would break out into song and it was almost so bad it was comical. It would look like it was breaking out into a couple minute long musical theater piece but it would be over in like 15 seconds. That part of it was so bad it was funny. Again, that being said i quite enjoyed this anime, especially if you look at the weird and shitty usage of a vampire musical thing as a joke.
This anime for me was hypnotic. All the time I was watching it I was thinking, these characters are all just broody, fallen hot boys that have little development (but they are all different to one another), yet they are hot and I need to keep on watching this anime.
The lines of dialogue weren't the best, but I wanted to marry the voices!
The story is a classic damsel in distress sort of thing but very fleshed out for something that just wanted people falling for hot lads really.
The art was very nice, not the best but good enough to make all the lads in this
alluring along with their syrup like voices.
I watched them burst into song thinking this is cheesy, I watched the moves by all the lads thinking it is so boy band like. And like boybands, there's always one you'll like and this one's mine. (I'm still not sure which boy is the best as all are 'tragically flawed' -oh he just needs love and to be fixed-)
This reverse harum buisness better not hook me. Its like sugar, wonderful, but not good for you in large amounts.
I like the musical concept of the anime, the music and melody are mediocre but it's unique nonetheless. Sure there are shows that's focused on singing and music but I don't think I've seen a "Disney Style" musical anime. Some of the song numbers are so cringey it's hilarious. I watched all 12 episodes just for the fuck of it to be honest. I didn't expect to enjoy it.
The story has already been done before, there's not much originality with the plot. But then again, it's the same for most harem and reverse harem anime.
I'm just glad that the main protagonist, Ritsuka is
not the air head, one dimensional girl that everyone magically falls in love with even though she has no personality whatsoever. (I AM LOOKING AT YOU HEROINE OF AMNESIA). Ritsuka doesn't have the I'll kill you with my kindness and sweetness personality but she's pretty decent. True she can be really dumb sometimes but that's sort of one of the cliches for reverse harem (Except for Haruhi) no offense.
Finally, the ending. Like every other goddamn 12 episode anime, this one is open ended with a tiny cliff hanger. Will it have a season 2? I don't know. Do I want it to have a season 2? Probably not. They should've given this a proper closure.
It's no masterpiece,but it's no where near as bad as some of the "objective reviewers/critic"would make it out to be.
One good quality for the anime is it's musical concept.Every character has a musical montage to flesh them out,it is a pretty cool idea honestly.
Sadly there is not much else to say about this.
The plot is about finding a special power ,vampires and devils a trying to find it.And the girl is the answer.
The main heroine is a self insert,a girl version of a typical harem lead.She always goes into danger no matter what,just out of curiosity.
Sure the devils in this series have cool powers,but when
you realize they keep thinking that the girl is lying and that they keep flirting with her,even though they have little clue themselvs what it is,kinda makes me just smh in disappointment.
They tried to use shock value,but with the blandness of the person involved and this plot,it is very forced.
This anime even has a brief semi h-scene,but this show sort of managed to get by lol.
Oni Chan works both ways.Incest is Wincest.
The main villain is cool,what a beast.Why can't Modern anime villains be more like him?Too bad he is revealed at the very end,and defeated by the lamest way possible.
And that meaningless ending,let's just say it lives up to most harem anime endings.......
Dance with Devils really surprised me in a positive way. First of all I need to say that Im no big Harem fan, because in my opinion its always the same: weak or no story, weak and unrelatable main character.. I had a very bad opinion of Harems after watching Amnesia etc.. But anyways I wanted to give DwD a chance since a friend of mine requested it
Forget all the bad things about Harems, Dance with Devils is totally different! You have a great mainstory and great characters. The main character, teenage girl Ritsuka, has a strong personality and stays true to herself until the
very end and is also very relatable. I began to like her very fast. Also the boys are not just handsome (as in other Harems) but also very interesting. Everyone of them has his own character which you can like or dislike.
As you may know this Anime is also musical-like but even if you normally dont like it, try watching it! the songs are SO good (especially when youre a jpop fan anyways youll like it), there was only one song out of all I didnt like.
So overall I really recommend this Harem, especially when you usually dont like them it will change your thinking about Harems. Compared to other Animes DwD is of course not such a big deal and masterpiece, but if you look at the Animes with the genre Harem, this one is definitely one of the bests. I enjoyed watching it. :)) (sorry for my english Im not fluent and this is my first Review ^^" Im not good at it but I wanted to share my opinion since this Harem really surprised me)
The story had potential but it's just another pathetic otome game turned anime. Plus points for episode 5 with the shitty Cantonese, however since the translators (and I mean very few people can understand Cantonese properly these days) didn't translate that part, it was a waste. But good pronunciation, since it IS FROM AN ANIME. Props to the Seiyuus. Back to the point, who the hell puts a musical element? LIKE full blown american musical broadway style sort of thing into the anime? It was the most interesting add on, but also the cringiest thing I've ever heard. There was potential and I didn't find
it appealing, it's like Amnesia and Diabolik Lovers, the main female is tragically pathetic, weak, and doesn't know ANYTHING, and literally needs men to save her at ALL times. Overall this was a sad anime and I'm only half way through. I'm practically sensing here that her brother the exorcist is actually her cousin, given the images of her mom's sister and the brother's hair colour match. The entire thing is a cringe-fest. Ruined the creative original aspects that made it stand out.
I honestly had some delusion of hope for this series. Initially, I thought, hey! Hot demon guys! This might be halfway interesting! But no. It was not. Let me begin. SPOILERS!
Plot: Just 3 episodes were enough. Just watching 1/2 of an episode began to drain my energy, I don't know why. It was tiresome. I actually first thought the protagonist was a maid. I mean, what the fuck kind of floofy-ass uniform was she wearing? Irrelevant. But when she got to the school there was some mysterrrious student council room, and then I knew I had fucked up with this series. She gets called
there and everyone loses their shit, because the four guys are the freaking F4 or something. Long story short, they are demons, but the magic necklace her mom gave her that morning prevents her from getting eaten and ending the story in an interesting fashion. I didn't get past 3 episodes, because it was tiresome to watch, and I get tired of mentally sobbing because people are stupid.
Characters: The so-called leader demon was ugly as hell (IMO), but everyone kept worshipping him. He irritates me. He was rude as hell to this girl, but as all terrible harems go, she probably fell for him anyway. And the protagonist (whatever her name was) was so stupid I wanted to slap the daylights out of her for just existing. LITERALLY. You know that demons exist and are trying to kill you but you keep thinking that it's a good idea to follow these guys around? Really? They TRIED TO KILL YOU MORE THAN ONCE WHAT THE FUCK IS YOUR PROBLEM! She must be mentally ill. And all the other demon boys were stereotypes; flirt, creep, and jock. No comment there.
Art: Was alright, I guess.
Sound: WHO THOUGHT IT WAS A GOOD IDEA TO NOT LABEL THIS THING AS A MUSICAL? I was so confused the whole time, because literally half the show they would just start singing. Yo, this isn't a Disney movie. Writers! How about actually spending time on the plot instead of these weak-ass crappy songs popping out of nowhere? There were like 2-3 of these things in all the episodes, and they would just jump at you. Like really, the love interest demon was about to fight some people who lit his house on fire. You expect that he's a badass fighter, but no. He starts singing at them. Like what? WHAT? I freaking endured the heroines boring-ass self, your annoying-ass self for an HOUR, give me a FIGHT! I WANT TO SEE BLOOD, DAMN YOU.
TLDR: Don't watch this.
Slightly longer: PLEASE don't watch this. Save yourself.